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Boy (14) facing charges in four different courts

A 14-YEAR-old boy in HSE care accused of serious offences in four different courts, has never been assessed psychologically.

A district court judge has called for the immediate assessment of the child, whom she said needed "someone on his side".

Judge Angela Condon said she was "amazed" that the boy hadn't been properly assessed and that he "seems to have been missed by the system".

The boy has been in full-time care since May, but the HSE had been involved in his care intermittently since December last year.

Tralee District Court heard that arrangements to have him psychologically assessed "didn't work out".

He is accused of a total of 11 charges before the Tralee court but there are other matters that have not been concluded at three other courts.

Insp Tony Sugrue objected to bail on the grounds he was likely to re-offend.

"He's very young to have committed a lot of crime in a short period of time and because of the large volume of crime committed it is feared that if he's released on bail, he'll go on to commit further crimes," he said.

CHARGES

The boy is accused of seven charges of burglary, assault and theft at addresses in Co Kerry this summer.

The court heard that alcohol was an issue but it is not believed he was using any other substance apart from cigarettes.

His solicitor Padraig O'Connell said that while the boy had not been convicted of any of the offences before the courts in Clonakilty, Bantry and Killarney, he did accept culpability.

Mr O'Connell said he suffered from mild depression and anxiety and had "an inability to communicate his innermost feelings and thoughts".

Judge Condon remanded him in custody to Oberstown Detention Centre until August 28, warning him that if it weren't for his age, she would have no hesitation in refusing jurisdiction and sending him forward for trial to the Circuit Criminal Court.

"He needs a full assessment and he needs it sooner rather than later," she said.

She warned the boy that Oberstown was "in the middle of nowhere" and that he would meet some people there that were "not so nice".

She also allowed him time to talk to his mother before he was taken away.

hnews@herald.ie


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